Daily Adventure Number 1: Go on a Nature Walk
Going on a nature walk is easy, and most families can start and finish at their own front door. Give each child a small bag (a paper lunch bag or a reusable grocery bag works well), and tell them that you are going on a walk to collect things from nature. They can keep anything they find on the ground that fits in their bag, whether they want to collect a bunch of one thing (like acorns) or find as many different shaped and colored things as they can (like leaves from different trees during Fall).
Your nature walk can be as long or as short as everyone wants it to be, though children will often want to stay out longer as they continue to find new things. Once everyone is done, go back home, and have your kids pour out their bags and talk about what they found.
Where to Go
It’s up to you. If you live in a neighborhood or you can walk to a park, you can do your nature walk close to home. You can even do a nature walk in your own yard if there are plenty of things to find. If you need (or want) to drive somewhere, pick a local park or greenway where your children will have some space to explore without too many other people around.
What to Bring
Each child should have his or her own bag that is big enough and durable enough to hold plenty of nature items but not so big that it is difficult for them to carry.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Sunscreen and bug spray are always a good idea when doing activities in nature. If you are picky about ingredients, make sure you read the labels (or do some research online) before trying a new brand.
Even if you are going for a short nature walk, it is a good idea to bring some water for everyone. You don’t want to have to turn around because someone says they’re thirsty.
Magnifying Glass, Flashlight, and Other Tools (Optional)
If your children have magnifying glasses, binoculars, flashlights, or any other tools they want to bring along, this can add some fun and independence to the experience. Of course, keep in mind that you might end up carrying these as your children’s hands and bags get full.
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Daily Adventure
Tip #1: Plan a Route for Your Nature Walk
As with most things, it’s good to plan ahead. Even if you are just walking the block around your house, tell your children where you’re going so that they know what to expect once you leave home.
Tip #2: Do Some Research So that You Can Identify What Your Children Find
If you aren’t an expert on local trees and shrubs, do some quick research before you go. That way, when you children ask, “What kind of leaf is this?” you’ll have an answer.
Tip #3: Let Your Children Take the Lead
Make sure your children don’t pick up anything dangerous, but otherwise let them take the lead when it comes to choosing what to put in their bags. Even if something doesn’t seem interesting to you, it might in some way be new or inspiring to them.
Tip #4: Look Up Anything Your Children Find that You Can’t Identify
If you can’t identify a particular type of leaf, seed, or nut, look it up online when you get home. This will be educational for you and your children, and it will set an example for them to be curious and seek out answers.
Tip #5: Have Your Children Create Something with Their Nature Treasures
What should you do with all of that nature? One idea is to use it to make something. Have some glue, paper, and markers ready to go so that your children can get to work when you get home.
What You’ll Get Out of It
Going on a nature walk can be a fun, educational, and energizing experience for the whole family. Enjoy your time outdoors, and enjoy watching your children indulge their curiosities. Can you find something you’ve never spotted before? Even if you don’t fill your own bag, you can view your surroundings through a new lens.